The past few days around here have been blustery and cold at times, not the May weather we were all hoping for. A couple of days ago Greg Rand did the L’Escapade trail at Rigaud. I only knew that one small part of the trail existed until he sent me a message, he’d seen and heard an Acadian Flycatcher on the section that crosses Rue Bourget. Greg was happy to show me the spot but the conditions since he first had the bird have been pretty challenging. Unfortunately it seems to have moved although it is possible that it, like most of the other smaller flycatchers, is spending more time trying to find enough insects to survive rather than spend time singing.
It would have been a great Quebec bird to get, there haven’t been that many but surely that will change as Global Warming takes a firmer grip and their range expands north. Perhaps in ten years-time we will see the lovely woodland habitat of the L’Escapade trail hosting the species regularly.
It isn’t that long ago that Turkey Vulture was a scarce visitor to Quebec, now you see them everywhere although this year they seem less common. You rarely see them carrying prey items although, as scavengers, perhaps snack and not prey is a more descriptive term. The one below was at St-Lazare sand pits Thursday and had obviously plucked the dead squirrel from the road. Vultures have weak feet, they cannot even master Macramé for heaven’s sake, which is why this one was carrying lunch in its beak.
It didn’t seem too comfortable carrying the remnants of the squirrel and dropped it into thick vegetation. Then it bounced around looking for it, oblivious to us watching on.
Incidentally, the sand pits are being worked by a couple of machines at the moment, naturally this affects the birding. One up side is that the shorebirds are being pushed onto the extensive roadside muddy edge, still not much variation on that front though, 14 Semipalmated Plovers recently was nice but where are the Pectoral Sandpipers?